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Indian I&B Ministry advises media against gambling advertisements

The Indian Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has issued a notice to all print, electronic, social and online media advising a halt to all advertising of online betting platforms.

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The announcement comes after the Ministry was made aware of a number of instances in which these media outlets had openly advertised online gambling websites and platforms.

As gambling is illegal in most of the country, the Indian authorities voiced concerns that these online betting advertisements work to promote a prohibited activity, while also posing financial and socio-economic risks for consumers.

The Ministry went on to note that these advertisements contradict regulations laid out in the Consumer Protection Act 2019, the Advertising Code under the Cable Television Networks Regulation Act 1995 and the Norms of Journalistic Conduct under the Press Council Act 1978.

The Ministry said: “In light of the above and having regard to the larger public interest involved, the print and electronic media is advised to refrain from publishing advertisements of online betting platforms. The online and social media, including the online advertisement intermediaries and publishers, are advised not to display such advertisements in India or target such advertisements towards the Indian audience."

The Ministry had previously issued similar advice to private satellite TV channels. On 4 December 2020, these channels were reminded of their obligation to adhere to the guidelines laid out by the Advertising Standards Council of India; and the Ministry provided them with a list of ‘Do’s and Don'ts’ for print and audio-visual advertisements for online gaming.

The next issue of Gambling Insider magazine will provide a detailed breakdown of all the latest regulatory updates in Indian gaming.

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